"Quote Looking at the photos, it looks like the mulch covers the base of the trees? My phone screen is too small to be sure. Is that what you mean about the bases of your trees? Be sure not to cover the base of your trees with mulch - you can kill them. When my DH decides to mulch, I always follow behind and rake the mulch back from the base of the trees and shrubs. 😸🙀"
Around the trees is an old cement tree ring and very little in the way of wood chips. Mostly a light covering now. I will put hardware cloth (6 inch tall) around these so I can get rid of the tree rings and pile mulch up close but far enough away (3 to 4 inch gap) from the trunk so it will not cause rot.
"Quote I would definitely try inoculaing those wood chips with certian edible mushroom spawn, or plan for ways to start incorporating that into your woodchip layering system. For mostly hardwood chips King Stropheria mycelium, and for conifer dominant chips blewit spawn would be worth looking into."
As I was moving the chips I was finding natural fungi. White and Orange Hyphae so I am letting them do their thing. I live in a very buggy environment and my warm and hot weather mushrooms (logs) all got infested. I have logs with cool and cold varieties of oyster and shiitake that produce in "no bug" weather (fall and spring). I will keep an ear out for varieties that grow on chips and are cool weather fruiting.
"Quote I would go with an annual, like crimson clover. It will fix nitrogen in the chips, add nitrogen to the surface, help ballence the nitrogen carbon ratios, will reseed if wanted, feed beneficial-insects, look beautiful in bloom, or can be terminated before reseeding by rolling or crimping before it makes seed."
I thought Crimson was a cool weather variety. I do know that White Dutch grows well here and only gets 6 inches tall. I still have some will spread it around to see what happens.
"Quote Is that fenced area chickens? Do put some down in there, as the birds will work it hard and break it down to lovely fertile compost for you. "
No chickens but they are allowed under very strict conditions (city ordnance). I am thinking of maybe getting Muscovy Ducks since they make little noise and don't need a pond. I would worry about all the Hawks around here.